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Alleged child molester assaulted

8-27-2005 Illinois:

Six others arrested after altercation
.EAST ST. LOUIS -- A crowd chased after a man suspected of molesting a little girl Wednesday night to hold him for police. But when they began beating him they, too, wound up in the city jail. "They meant well, but they went too far," said East St. Louis Detective Michael Floore, who said the suspect had a prior arrest for molesting a child. "The guys caught the suspect and instead of holding him for the police, things got out of hand. Citizens are allowed to make a citizen's arrest, but they cannot take the law into their hands."

Vanessa Wilford said the suspect asked to use the bathroom in her relative's apartment at the Gompers Homes public housing complex. Instead, he went into a room where Wilford's 3-year-old relative was and molested the girl, she said. After he left the room, he walked downstairs and continued out of the house. After the girl's aunt learned what happened, relatives and others gave chase. "They were kicking his butt," she said. "A woman stopped her car and let him get into her car with her and her children. They blocked the car.

"She told the people she was taking the suspect to the police station. They didn't want her to leave with the suspect because they wanted to make sure the police got him," Wilford said. After police arrived, the suspect and six others were arrested, including the young victim's mother, step-grandfather and a juvenile. The juvenile was released to his parents and the mom and step-grandfather were released Thursday afternoon. The suspect and three others remained in custody Thursday night while police continued investigating. No charges had been issued, Floore said.

"Police showed no sympathy towards my daughter, who was the real victim. They called (the suspect) the victim and called an ambulance for him," said the victim's mother. ..more.. : by CAROLYN P. SMITH

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